Posts Tagged ‘borrow’

Debt Strategy experts Bell & Company weigh in on the insolvency figures from 2017 and consider what 2018 may have in store.

With the New Year just starting, Bell & Company, are keen to decipher the insolvency figures from 2017, and consider what they may mean for 2018.

According to statistics released by The Insolvency Service, an estimated 4,152 companies entered insolvency during the third quarter of 2017. While this number may seem significant, this number has actually decreased by 12.5% from the second quarter of the year.

Things may be looking somewhat promising for companies, but unfortunately the same can’t be said for individual insolvency figures. With 25,479 individual insolvencies in the third quarter of 2017, a figure that has risen by a 10.6% in comparison to the previous quarter, Bell & Co is expressing its concerns for the financial stability of Britons.

James Bell, Bell & Company Director, said: “These latest figures regarding personal insolvency are extremely concerning and display the extent at which individuals are struggling to remain financially secure.

“Figures relating to people becoming insolvent is rising again for the first time since 2009 and is in part due to people becoming more tempted to borrow money. With exceeding interest rates, paying the money back is proving to be impossible for many.“

Bell & Company are renowned in the UK for their specialized team of debt strategists that provide expert advice on personal and business insolvency.

The company has saved businesses and individuals millions of pounds on their debt repayments, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to anyone in debt or requiring an assessment of their finances.

James continued: “We urge anyone that has recently become insolvent or is concerned about the prospect of this happening to get in contact with us so that we can offer them a solution that is tailored to their individual needs and circumstances.”

The personal debt mountain in Britain ballooned to a staggering £1.6 trillion in 2017 as more and more people have turned to credit card spending and car finance deals to see them through.

With figures as worse as they were during the financial crisis, 2018 could prove to be a bleak year for both personal and corporate finance.

For more information about personal or business insolvency or to get a free financial review, call Bell & Company on 02895 217 373 or email [email protected].

 

About Bell and Company

At Bell & Company, our professional staff includes legal professionals, accountants, and insolvency experts.  We have extensive expertise coupled with a highly specialised skill set which enables us to specialise solely in this niche area. We have always and will always offer a completely free, no-obligation consultation. This is a thorough financial review and our staff will put a lot of effort into assessing the different options available to you.

Bell & Company prove benefits of great business relationships

Bell & Company were recently able to assist a young couple with 2 young children facing eviction from the family home.

Bell & Company were appointed and approached the lender seeking a consensual sale, which was accepted by the lender.

In this instance, Bell & Company achieved savings of around £105,000, after the agreed open market sale.

Throughout Bell & Company’s 7 years in business, we have developed strong working relationships with most lenders in the UK and Ireland and are able to settle cases like this with most lending institutions taking pragmatic decisions when the case is fully submitted.

The couple delighted to be relieved of this burden. Bell & Company’s professional proactive approach ensures all those facing property debt issues can mitigate such burdens.

If you find yourself facing issues surrounding property debt, feel free to contact us. We offer a free initial consultation and full case review.

Our team will answer all your queries as soon you contact us.  If your query is of an urgent nature you call us NOW on 02895 217 373.

How you can beat debt

How you can beat debt

Debt is a problem that affects millions of people all over the world. In the UK specifically, over 8.3 million families are currently living in debt, with this often causing people emotional stress and anxiety as well as financial problems. The good news is that no debt is unbeatable. Even if you’re laden with massive sums of debt that seem impossible to pay back, there are ways you can combat it and services out there which can help give you some space to breathe again. Read on for our tips on how to beat debt and get your finances back on track.

Budget

This one may seem obvious but being aware of what you’re spending and how to minimize your outgoings is the first step towards beating your debt. Sitting down with a pen and paper and determining how much of your weekly outgoings can be cut down against your total income will give you a true reflection of your finances. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be aware of how much you can begin paying back.

Tackle your most important debts first

If you’re dealing with multiple debts, then the first thing to do is work out which ones are the most urgent. Finding yourself in mortgage arrears can lead to you losing your house, and not paying debts owed from parking fines can result in bailiffs seizing goods from your home, so working out which debts need to be prioritized is imperative.

Find out what you’re entitled to

If you don’t ask you never get. You might be entitled to range of finances such as working family tax credits which can give your finances a boost. We advise that you get in touch with the Government to work out what you’re owed as this can bolster your monthly income and help you to pay off your debts quicker.

Seek professional help

Sometimes people are faced with truly insurmountable amounts of debt that are impossible to pay back with their own income alone.

That’s where we come in.

We know the laws around debt like the back of our hands and have helped hundreds of clients beat their debts since we were formed in 2011.

In fact, our settlements with mortgage companies, banks and lenders have saved our clients over £130 in debt repayments over the years.

The reality of debt is that, depending on your circumstances, you might only have to pay back a fraction of what you owe. Why not call us today on 0330 159 5820 to see if we can help get you back into the black?

 

Will property costs in the UK continue to rise?

Property costs in the UK

For many of us, property prices are simply too high. A sizeable majority of us are priced out of living in our capital where, along with higher living costs, you’ll find the average house price to be a whopping £481,556. Perhaps soaring prices are to be expected in Britain’s capital, but even outside of London you’re likely to encounter high prices; the average cost of a house in Britain is an eye-watering £211,000. This represents a massive increase in average costs at the beginning of the new millennium, with the average spend on a UK home being less than half of the current amount at only £75,000 in 2000.

The problem for many prospective first-time-buyers is not only that house prices are too high as they are either; it’s the fact that they’re going to continue rising for the foreseeable future. Property costs in the UK are set to soar by 30% over the course of the next five years, pricing out millions more buyers in the process. The reasons for this are varied. Many argue that a lack of houses being built are to blame for the subsequent rise in prices across the UK, whilst others contest that stagnating wages haven’t kept up with the rising cost of living in Britain, making it impossible for homeowners to save enough.

Having said all of this, however, it is still possible for you to finance your property. Even in face of the fact that house prices may continue to rise for the next 50 years, obtaining the right financial package with sensible repayment options means that you’ll still be able to afford the house of your dreams.

Packages such as Help To Buy ISAs are a fantastic option for first-time buyers.

These work by having the Government top-up everything you save by 25%, so if you save £200 the Government will give you an additional £50. You can receive a total of £3000 from a Help To Buy ISA, which will give you a deposit total of £15,000 towards your first property.

Many young first-time buyers have used this scheme in order to pay for their first home and it’s a great choice if you’re looking to do the same. Even if you don’t choose this option, a critical rule to bear in mind is to be shrewd and shop around when choosing your mortgage. Always add together the final repayments you’ll be paying before entering agreements with banks, and don’t be enticed by initially attractive options such as interest-only loans which may not require paying back immediately. These can work out more expensive in the long run and will have to be paid back eventually.

However, if you have already found yourself in difficult circumstances due to issues such as property debt, or owe a large amount which is putting your assets at risk, it is worth taking a no obligation, impartial, free consultation here at Bell & Company. Call us today – 02895217373

First-time investor left with large shortfall

Bell & Company were contacted by a first time investor who had been left in negative equity on his home.

This was the gentleman’s first time investing in property, and unfortunately, just took out a mortgage at simply the wrong time, and had the possibility of insolvency looming over him.

At Bell and Company, over our years in business we have been able to build a strong relationship not only with clients but a good business relationship with different lenders.

The lender in this case was able to agree on a full and final settlement of £5000, which was fantastic. Although the end result was a great success, the negotiation was not easy. The team at Bell & Company had to develop new strategies to generate the best outcome for the client.

We pride ourselves on our ability to think outside of the box. We can provide strategies and solutions that others wouldn’t consider. Contact us today if you would like to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation on 02895 217 373.

I am a company director of a limited company with personal Guarantee. How will this effect me?

I am a company director of a limited company with personal Guarantee. How will this effect me? More often than not where a Lender is offering loan facilities to a Company, they will, by way of security, require a Personal Guarantee to be offered by the Director(s) of same Company. This will essentially provide the Lender with the reassurance that, even in the event of the Company becoming insolvent, they can pursue the Directors directly and personally in relation to monies owing. It provides them with an extra layer of cover so to speak…

Directors (especially in the past) will have seen this as a risk worth taking, particularly as it could massively influence the Lender’s decision as to whether to approve/deny a loan application submitted on behalf of the Company. This is all very well when the Company is performing however where a Company begins to experience financial issues/is showing signs of being in a position of financial distress, Personal Guarantees can have serious and hard hitting consequences for the obligated Director(s).

In some instances, Personal Guarantees will be capped at a specific amount and the amount will have been influenced by the overall, net worth of the Director(s) at that time. In other instances however, Guarantees will be somewhat open ended and will be as wide as to cover all debts owing by the Company to the subject lender. Negotiating in relation to a Personal Guarantee is most definitely possible, when broached in the correct way and with the right presentation, however is not straightforward.

The subject lender will analyse the position in an in-depth manner and conduct a high level of due diligence, often engaging specialist professionals, in order to determine what can be recovered thus it is imperative that positioning and approach is concise and watertight. Creditors will look at various aspects of the Director(s) position, not least, to include asset/monetary position and a number of documents, reports and evidence will be required to be submitted in order to support any submissions made. There are central in the context of negotiations.

Once again, the importance of obtaining the correct advices with regards how to communicate/approach must be stressed here as this can very often mean the difference between losing and retaining livelihood/home etc. The importance of being pro-active cannot be emphasised enough as failure to do so will often result in Judgment/Statutory Demand, both of which can be avoided when the correct steps are taken.

To conclude, we would state as follows:

Whilst Personal Guarantees do not very often impact/feature in the thought process of Directors at the time of loan application and where the Company is performing, other than to be considered the determining factor re sanctioning/rejection, they can have serious, personal consequences where the Company becomes insolvent and the debt is called in. The Lender is entitled to explore all surrounding property, the equity therein and the financial well-being of the individual and can pursue up to and including Bankruptcy in which event there is often a lot at risk.

This can be avoided in its entirety if the correct line of communications are adopted from the outset and with the right advice, guidance and representation. There are significant savings to be achieved if handled in the correct way – We have achieved savings at 0.6% of overall debt owing however each case will be circumstance dependent. Why take the risk caused by delay…?

Act now and protect what is important.

My home has been sold and now I have received a letter chasing an outstanding balance. What are my options?

As the various lending institutions work through their ‘delinquent’ mortgage books, more and more people are approaching us at the end of the sale process, when the lender and their agents, usually solicitors, chase and seek recovery of the outstanding amount due, after the disposal of the asset(s) involved.

If a property was purchased pre property crash, then inevitably there will be a significant price variation after a sale based on today’s property values. Negative Equity is an extremely prevalent issue in today’s property climate in Northern Ireland and across the UK.

Invariably this balance will be a lot higher than you thought but will include the following additional information:

1.       All the interest since the last payment made.

2.       The property would have been sold ‘In Repossession’. Recent DSD figures show that these properties yield as little as 59% of the market value.

3.       Costs of the necessary action to recover the property through court.

4.       Any other associated costs

 

The balance left after the sale, I.e. ‘The shortfall’ is relative and the route which is taken is dependent upon two key factors

1.       Do you have significant surplus income? And/or

2.       Do you own other assets?

 

Inevitably, the balance is irrelevant. If a client cannot afford to pay a £70,000 shortfall, then they most certainly will not be able to afford a £100,000 shortfall.

Therefore, If the answer is no to both of the above questions then the options open to you firstly and the lender secondly are:

1.       A choice of formal insolvency, be it bankruptcy or IVA, subject to your individual circumstances.

2.       An informal insolvency option to settle with the lender on a full and final basis for a reduced amount.  

 

As ever we would implore you to be proactive as these things will not just go away.  By this stage the lender and their advisors usually want the matter resolved, one way or another, as does the client. 

Bell & Company have developed a specialised team who work with a wide variety of lenders and situations and resolve issues like these on a daily basis with excellent success.  If you find yourself with any of these issues, please get in touch with us here at Bell & Company. To discuss your case with us please call Karen on 02895 217373 to arrange your free initial consultation at a time and place to suit you. We look forward to assisting you.

Bankruptcy- What can happen?

Bankruptcy, the “B” word, is feared by many and has negative connotations associated with it. Sadly, we see many Creditors petitions in Court for borrowers being made Bankrupt by their Lender. Perhaps the stigma surrounding Bankruptcy has been reduced since 2008 due to the increase in numbers filing for Bankruptcy but it is still something that many fear and want to avoid at all costs however It can prove to be a useful tool for borrowers whose debts are so significant that there is no route to negotiate with lenders.

Aggressive Creditor’s Petition? What’s the worst that can happen?

You can be made Bankrupt by your lender. It is a lengthy process for the Creditor and does involve cost but nonetheless many will pursue this route to non- responsive debtors. Throughout the process a Creditor must take action to declare the debtor Bankrupt, the debtor will be given every chance to respond. Amicably liaising with a lender can vastly reduce the chance of you being made Bankrupt and also bring about a positive outcome for all parties involved should this be the best option for you.

Should a Creditors Petition be followed through you could find yourself in increased financial difficulty. You may be called for a meeting in the Official Receivers to discuss your finances and they may decide to implement an Attachment of Earnings Order. If this is put in place funds could be taken directly from your monthly salary and distributed to the relevant Creditors. Furthermore, if made Bankrupt your assets could be in significant danger for example, if you have equity in home this asset is in severe risk. Other matters to consider include vehicles, pensions, life insurance policies etc.

Is there such thing as a ‘best case scenario’ in Bankruptcy?

Providing the Client’s circumstances align, Personal Bankruptcy can “clear the decks” allowing the individual the opportunity to start again. We regularly assist individuals going through Personal Bankruptcy and help to alleviate the pressures involved.

Dependant on your personal situation Bankruptcy may not have a serious effect on your day to day life for example, if your home is in negative equity there may be a a high possibility that you can retain this in Bankruptcy once mortgage payments are maintained. Furthermore, an income payment order may not be applicable if there is an undisputed deficit each month. There is also a possibility that you will retain your vehicle, life insurance and pension.

Regardless of best or worst case scenario, Bell & Company can assist in providing the appropriate advice tailored to the debtor’s personal circumstances with a view to establishing your best case scenario.

Contact the team here or call 02895 217 373 to discuss your circumstances and take the first steps towards your fresh start in life.

 

Could I lose my home?

Could I lose my home?

One thing we understand entirely is that home is sacrosanct to most people thus it is imperative that the situation at home is investigated first and foremost. In many instances, a Borrower/Guarantor’s home will be mortgaged with another lending institution and, as a result of the property crash, there will very rarely be equity in the home thus there is nothing there for lending institutions to pursue/Official Receiver to vest an interest in.

However, each case is different. A lot centers around mortgage balance, current market value and whether there is any equity within the property. A lending institution only can initiate repossession proceedings. if your home has been directly offered as security.

Personal Guarantee

If you have signed a Personal Guarantee, your personal assets are exposed. Any Creditor can seek to realise the equity in any assets relating to you by seeking Judgment and enforcing same thereafter or, alternatively, petitioning for Bankruptcy, even if they have no security.

If there is equity in your home, this will have to be considered in any settlement proposal to ensure that the same is protected. This will often avoid aggressive action than by a Creditor. However, rights are always reserved.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from our services, please call us today on 0330 159 5820.

 We look forward to working with you.

Pressure from a pending loan sale?

Pressure from a pending loan sale?

Are you under pressure from a pending loan sale?

As will know, there has been a multitude of bank loan sales of late to a variety of recovery companies and vulture funds. This includes Ulster Banks loan sales to Cerberus and Cabot amongst many others.

Initial Correspondence 

When a borrower initially receives correspondence to notify them of a pending sale, they are usually provided with several options in order to prevent the sale however most involve full repayment. Which is simply not feasible for the majority to receive written indication. Such a loan sale can be distressing for any person or business. Particularly, where they have been banking with the same institution for many years.

Be Proactive

Many of these funds or companies can be commercial and will make pragmatic decisions so long as the correct approach, attitude and presentation is adopted. We have recently engaged in a negotiation resulting in settlement at in and around 1%, which was a phenomenal outcome for our client.

It is essential that a proactive approach is adopted to avail of this opportunity.
In the event that an individual/business does not engage or communicate and instead, chooses to ignore the matter, it is highly likely that the fund will become aggressive and choose to litigate.

Be Forthcoming

You will have seen it publicised in the media of late. Mass actions are being taken by certain vulture funds resulting in a multitude of borrowers receiving a summons and inevitably, judgment will be sought. This can be avoided by being forthcoming with regards communication, submissions and proposals.

Bell & Co have first-hand experience of the opposite response from these funds. We have witnessed directly how making the correct approach can result most favourably for the borrower in terms of settlement and savings.

If you or someone you know have received an indication that your loans will be entered a loan sale, we would urge you to be proactive in taking advice and seeking to reach conclusion allowing all then to move forward.

You can do so by calling my colleague Karen Campbell now on 0330 159 5820

INTEREST RATES – ARE YOU READY FOR THE RISE

The Bank of England will soon need to rediscover its trigger finger and fire the gun on as interest rates rise in the near future. We have enjoyed 7 years of ultra-cheap rates and “cheap money”, however any rate change is set to have a significant impact.

Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on 8 October and though they are expected to vote to keep rates at 0.5% there is a consensus one more member may vote in favour of a rise. Furthermore, members have conceded a rate rise in the near future is inevitable.

What the committee is weighing up is the sharp rise in disposable household income and the effect global uncertainty will have on the UK economy, this uncertainty is caused by the ongoing Eurozone crisis and China’s struggles. Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor, has said the rise in household disposable income is the next step towards a rate rise although economists have argued the economy may be unable to handle a rate rise come Spring and Summer 2016 due to global economic uncertainty.

When I research the interest topic the literature rarely focuses on Northern Ireland. The fact is a high proportion of borrowers here are “mortgage prisoners” and many simply will not be able to sustain mortgage payments. When you couple rising mortgage payments and increase in general in credit commitment payments many will find themselves in a dire financial position.

Bell & Company are advising borrowers concerned with mortgage payments to contact them today. It is important to “act” and not “react” to the proposed changes in interest rates. We cannot stress enough the inevitability of this rate rise, we have had our time utilising cheap credit and many will now feel the pinch. Even if you are in Negative Equity our expert team can assist. Please call the office on 02895 217373 to arrange your free initial consultation.

The team look forward to taking your call.

 

Loan Sold to Cerberus? Act Now!

In a recent blog we discussed the sale of Ulster Bank loan books to Cerberus. Since then things have moved a pace and at Bell & Company we are pleased to report we have had constructive meetings and discussions with Cerberus thus far.

Cerberus are now starting to initiate contact with borrowers whose loans have are in their book and are looking to arrange meetings with Advisors and their client. Although working through these gradually their turnaround time in negotiations seems most efficient and without doubt more efficient than Ulster Bank previously.

Capita make a decision on initial submissions and they make it relatively clear from the outset and give the following options:

  1. Write a cheque for full amount or,
  2. Submit a proposal within 28 days, or
  3. Debt Enforcement/Recovery

Capita has a number of ex Ulster Bank employees who then report to Cerberus, we have an excellent relationship with staff here.

To date Cerberus have been open in their approach and Bell & Company have found we can talk to them quite openly. They are keen to come to settlements and believe it is in the best interest to do this on behalf of the borrower and their stakeholders.  They seek fresh settlement offers, and any previous settlements put forward to the Bank should be used for reference only.

Cerberus too seem to wish to avoid any acrimonious proceedings and therefore clients who had issues with the Bank in the past can look to move past these and drive negotiations.

Although many have expressed concern about their loans being sold there is an excellent opportunity to be had to negotiate a reduced Full & Final Settlement or re-finance elsewhere. We have noticed some advisors telling their clients to be aware of these “vulture” funds, but in Bell & Company’s experience to date providing you enter amicable dialogue and understand the protocol’s Cerberus work within then meaningful results can be achieved.

If you have been contacted by Cerberus or Capita, or expect to be contacted in the near future then call Bell & Company today on +44 (0) 2890 517047 to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your circumstances. We look forward to working with you.

As ever being proactive and appointing people you can work with and who understand and know the processes involved, “warts and “, is vital …. So call us today.

Terry Bell – Director